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THE MONUMENT TO
COLONEL ROBERT GOULD SHAW
1865 — 1897
Robert <§ottto Matt
ITS INCEPTION, COMPLETION
BOSTON AND NEW YORK
HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY
&bc Rtoersfoe Press, Cambrt&p
CAMBRIDGE, MASS., U. S. A. : ELECTROTYPED AND
PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON & CO.
HISTORY OF THE SHAW MONUMENT, By the Trea-
surer of the Fund 7
INSCRIPTIONS UPON THE SHAW MONUMENT . . 15
ADDRESS BY MAJOR HENRY LEE HIGGINSON, MAY
3°> l8 97 2I
UNVEILING OF THE MONUMENT
CHIEF MARSHAL AND AIDS 39
REPORT OF GENERAL FRANCIS H. APPLETON, CHIEF MARSHAL . 41
CEREMONIES AT MUSIC HALL
ORDER OF EXERCISES 5 1
LIST OF INVITED GUESTS 53
GENERAL APPLETON'S REMARKS 56
REPORT OF COLONEL HENRY LEE 57
ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR WOLCOTT ... 63
ADDRESS OF HIS HONOR MAYOR QUINCY 67
ORATION BY PROFESSOR WILLIAM JAMES 73
ADDRESS OF BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 9 1
A LAST WORD 97
HISTORY OF THE SHAW MONUMENT
BY THE TREASURER OF THE FUND
HISTORY OF THE SHAW MONUMENT
BY THE TREASURER OF THE FUND
N the autumn of 1865 a meeting was held
in the council chamber at the State House,
at the call of Governor Andrew, Dr. Sam-
uel G. Howe, Senator Charles Sumner,
Colonel Henry Lee, Mr. J. B. Smith, and
others, to consider the matter of a suitable memorial to
Robert G. Shaw, the late commander of the Massachu-
setts Fifty-fourth Regiment. The prime mover in this
matter was doubtless the late Joshua B. Smith, a fugitive
from slavery, who after his escape had been in the ser-
vice of Colonel Shaw's family before he took the position
of repute as the successful caterer, in which he became
so well known in Boston. The purpose of the meeting
was declared in the following words : —
" The monument is intended not only to mark the
public gratitude to the fallen hero, who at a critical mo-
ment assumed a perilous responsibility, but also to com-
memorate that great event, wherein he was a leader, by
which the title of colored men as citizen-soldiers was
fixed beyond recall. In such a work all who honor
youthful dedication to a noble cause and who rejoice in
the triumph of freedom should have an opportunity to
I was not myself present at that meeting. A com-
history of mittee was appointed to carry this purpose into effect,
monument consisting of John A. Andrew, chairman ; Charles Sum-
ner, Joshua B. Smith, Henry P. Kidder, Charles R. Cod-
man, Henry W. Longfellow, James L. Little, William W.
Clapp, Jr., Charles Beck, William G. Weld, Leonard A.
Grimes, Royal E. Robbins, Robert E. Apthorp, Francis
W. Bird, Edward W. Kinsley, George B. Loring, Alan-
son W. Beard, Solomon B. Stebbins, Robert K. Darrah ;
Charles W. Slack, secretary.
As I am informed, there had been some difference
of opinion as to the kind of statue or memorial which
should be procured. At the request of Senator Sumner
I undertook to serve as the treasurer, with the under-
standing that my sole duty would be the custody of
the funds. I believe that no one was ever asked to
subscribe; all the contributions have been of a purely
voluntary character, most gladly given. Within the next
two or three months after the meeting the sum of three
thousand one hundred and sixty-one dollars ($3161) had
been placed in my hands.
The death of Governor Andrew soon after occurred,
and later several of the chief promoters of this memorial,
including Senator Sumner, passed away. The interest
in the subject appeared to have ceased for the moment.
In 1876 the fund had reached a little over seven thou-
sand dollars ($7000) by investment and reinvestment.
As there appeared to be no effective committee in
charge of this matter, and believing that a small, well-
chosen committee would be more likely to act in a judi-
cious manner than a large one, the suggestion was made
to all the subscribers to appoint Messrs. John M. Forbes,
Henry Lee, and Martin P. Kennard as such committee,
and their written assent and approval were obtained
Some previously unpaid subscriptions were then called
in and several additional subscriptions were volunteered, history of
, , n • i r i THE SHAW
so that the total amount actually received from subscn- monument
bers was raised a trifle over seventy-five hundred dollars
($75 21 )- The names of the subscribers were as follows:
George C. Ward, Mrs. Lydia Jackson, Hon. Charles
Sumner, Mrs. John E. Lodge, N. Livermore & Son, Mrs.
Maria Weston Chapman, William G. Weld, Samuel G.
Ward, S. N. Havens, John Fenno Tudor, Henry Sturgis
Grew, and George O. Hovey, of Boston, Mass.; Richard
Warren Weston, Horace Gray, Lucius Tuckerman,
Edward F. Davison, Daniel C. Bacon, and Robert B.
Minturn, of New York, N. Y. ; F. J. Child, Robert B.
Storer, James Russell Lowell, and Charles E. Norton, of
Cambridge, Mass. ; Edward Atkinson, Henry Lee, and
Martin P. Kennard, of Brookline, Mass.; Alexander H.
Bullock and Ichabod Washburn, of Worcester, Mass.;
Samuel May, Jr., and Mrs. J. C. Gunn, of Leicester,
Mass.; Zenas M. Crane, of Dalton, Mass.; John M.
Forbes, of Milton, Mass. ; Edmund Tweedy, of Mil-
waukee, Wis.; Robert Ferguson, of Morton, Carlisle,
In 1883 the fund having reached nearly seventeen
thousand dollars ($17,000), it seemed to be time to move
for the execution of the work. A desire had been ex-
pressed to me by Senator Sumner that the work should
consist of a statue of Colonel Shaw mounted, in very
high relief upon a large bronze tablet.
A suitable place for such a work seemed to be in the
curve on the front of the State House where a tablet of
moderate size could be placed in the wall, rising a little
above it with a seat at the level of the sidewalk. Appli-
cation was made through Governor Long, with his hearty
approval, for a right to place the tablet at this point
if such a work should be executed, and was cheerfully
history of Happening to call upon my neighbor and friend, the
monument l ate H. H. Richardson, he desired to know what action
had been taken, if any, having a great personal interest
in his memory of Colonel Shaw and being desirous that
the work should be one of highest merit. On the sub-
mission of the plan for an alto-relievo in front of the
State House, he gave his most earnest assent, offering
his services to do the architectural work and suggesting
Augustus St. Gaudens as the sculptor, whose statue of
Admiral Farragut had so lately called attention to his
It was then suggested to the committee that the surest
way to carry out our plans would be to select an artist
without confusing ourselves with any competition. The
contract was accordingly made with Mr. St. Gaudens on
February 23, 1884, in the hope and expectation that an
alto-relievo suitable to the place chosen would be put in
position in two years. But as Mr. St. Gaudens dealt
with the subject it grew upon him in its importance, and
with that conscientious spirit which marks the true artist
he has devoted the better part of twelve years to con-
stant thought and work upon his grand design.
As the artist's conception developed, the size of the
panel became too great for the space originally chosen.
The suggestion was then made by the late Arthur Rotch
to place it on the Common between the two great trees
where it now stands.
Mr. Charles F. McKim, the architect who succeeded
Mr. Richardson as the artist's adviser, had become greatly
interested in the matter and had volunteered his services
for the architectural work. How great this service had
been could not become apparent until the unveiling.
Suffice it that the architectural design is on the high
plane of the bronze tablet which it sustains. His admi-
rable design having been sketched, an application was
made by Mr. George von L. Meyer, then an alderman of history of
the city of Boston, for an appropriation on the part of monument
the city for the construction of the terrace and stone
work in which the bronze tablet has now been placed
upon the Common. With judicious liberality a contract
was made by the City Government with Norcross Bro-
thers for the execution of this work, at a cost of nearly
twenty thousand dollars ($20,000).
In this long interval, the funds which were placed on
deposit in the New England Trust Company as soon as
the contract had been made have gradually accumulated,
until the original subscriptions of a little over seventy-
five hundred dollars ($7521) will yield nearly twenty-
three thousand dollars ($23,000). But even then, when
the artist shall have paid the heavy cost of casting in
bronze, and also paid for all the necessary skilled work
required in preparing for the founder, he may secure to
his own use and benefit only the fair day's wages of a
good stonecutter or stucco worker for the time which
during the term he has devoted to this the great effort
of his lifetime. Even that is doubtful, because with that
conscientious determination to have everything right
and suitable he has felt compelled to change in some
respects the design of the marble frame and the form
of the lettering, so that there may be extra charges in-
curred by his orders to the amount of two thousand or
three thousand dollars ($3000) in the construction of the
terrace and the marble framework above the contract,
which perhaps it will be suitable for the city to defray
in view of the credit and honor which is sure to come to
Boston in the possession of such an imperishable work.
It is not often that one who has no artistic aptitude
comes into such close relation with the evolution of a
monument. Had I the right knowledge of technical
terms, I should be inclined to give a little account of my
history of observations during the progress of this memorial. Few
monument persons can have the slightest conception of the energy
which a great artist must expend, not only in the con-
ception of the work itself, but in the actual effort, physi-
cal, mechanical, and manual, which is necessary to bring
that conception into imperishable bronze ; the amount
of work required from skilled workmen under the super-
vision of the artist in the process of converting his own
conception from the clay model, first into plaster, then
into the mould, and lastly, into the bronze, is something
of which the writer for one had no previous conception.
For the rest, the work will speak for itself. The com-
mittee and the treasurer alike sometimes feared that the
artist might not live long enough to complete this great
work. Now that it is done, and that they themselves
will have the satisfaction of placing it in the custody of
the city and the State, they feel that they will have been
fully justified and that their method of procuring this
monument may be approved.
Of the twenty-one members of the original committee
appointed to take action in the matter, but four now sur-
Among the misgivings of the treasurer while watch-
ing the progress of this work in the mere process of
manufacture had been the fear that so extensive and
difficult a casting might fail in its execution ; but when
the contract was made with the Gorham Manufacturing
Company, his anxiety was almost wholly removed, and
his previous fears have proved to be without cause.
Some exceptions have been taken to the decision of
the committee to have the addresses made in the Music
Hall rather than at the monument itself ; but after full
consideration of the matter, and in view of the present
condition of the State House and the grounds, there
seemed to be no alternative. The space which would
have remained available for those who have the direct history of
and most personal interest in this matter, after providing monument
for ofHcials and for the passing of the military at the
monument, was found to be wholly insufficient for any
suitable arrangements in the open air.
The committee and the treasurer, representing the
subscribers, have been placed by the circumstances of
the case in the position of hosts, inviting the authorities
of the city, the State, and other guests to be present at
the unveiling of the monument. The writer may be
permitted to say that most careful supervision has been
given, especially by Colonel Lee, to the distribution of
the tickets to the hall, to the end that no one might be
forgotten who had even a remote claim to be present ;
yet it may happen that some have been overlooked.
The committee requested General Francis H. Apple-
ton, of the governor's staff, to act as chief marshal, and
to his most effective preparation are due the excellent
arrangements for the military parade on Decoration Day
and for caring for the guests in the hall.
It is in order that those who were present may have
knowledge of all the facts and of the names of the sub-
scribers, so few of whom are living, that this statement is
The service of Mr. John B. Seward should be recog-
nized ; he has kept the accounts and held supervision
over all matters connected with the trust, in order that
there might be no confusion in case of accident to the
Treasurer Shaw Monument Fund.
Boston, May 22, 1897.
INSCRIPTIONS UPON THE
PON the bronze an inscription taken by the artist from
the seal of the Society of the Cincinnati of which
Colonel Robert G. Shaw was a member :
Underneath the main bronze :
INFANTRY- BORN IN BOSTON- 10- OCTOBERM- DC- C-CXXX VI I
KILLED • WHILE ■ LEADING ■ THE ■ ASSAULT • ON ■ FORT • WAGNER
Underneath, the verse of James Russell Lowell :
FOEWARD • AS • FITS • A • MAN
BUT • THE- HIGH . SOUL • BURNS • ON • TO • LIGHT • MEN'S • FEET
WHERE • DEATH • FOR NOBLE • ENDS • MAKES • DYING • SWEET
INSCRIPTIONS Upon the back of the frame of the tablet the following inscription
SHAW T MONU- C °™t° Sedb y CharleS W - Eli0t:
TO THE FIFTY-FOURTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
THE WHITE OFFICERS
TAKING LIFE AND HONOR IN THEIR HANDS CAST IN THEIR LOT WITH MEN OF
A DESPISED RACE UNPROVED IN WAR AND RISKED DEATH AS INCITERS OF
SERVILE INSURRECTION IF TAKEN PRISONERS • BESIDES ENCOUNTERING
ALL THE COMMON PERILS OF CAMP MARCH AND BATTLE-
THE BLACK RANK AND FILE
VOLUNTEERED WHEN DISASTER CLOUDED THE UNION CAUSE -SERVED
WITHOUT PAY FOR EIGHTEEN MONTHS TILL GIVEN THAT OF WHITE TROOPS-
FACED THREATENED ENSLAVEMENT IF CAPTURED • WERE BRAVE IN ACTION-
PATIENT UNDER HEAVY AND DANGEROUS LABORS -AND CHEERFUL AMID
HARDSHIPS AND PRIVATIONS-
THEY GAVE TO THE NATION AND THE WORLD UNDYING PROOF
THAT AMERICANS OF AFRICAN DESCENT POSSESS THE PRIDE COURAGE
AND DEVOTION OF THE PATRIOT SOLDIER -ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY
THOUSAND SUCH AMERICANS ENLISTED UNDER THE UNION FLAG IN
M-D-C-C-C-LXIII — MD-C-C-C-LXV
Underneath, upon the back of the terrace are the names of the five
officers of the regiment who with Colonel Shaw were hilled in
battle or died while in the service :
CABOT-JACKSON-RUSSEL WILLIAM- HARRISSIMPKINS
1ST LIEUTENANT 1ST LIEUTENANT
Immediately underneath these names is given an extract from the INSCRIPTIONS
address of Governor Andrew on the departure of the regiment : UPON THE
J r J & SHAW MONU-
I KNOW-NOT -MR -COMMANDER-WHERE -IN- ALL- HUMAN- HISTORY- TO -ANY
GIVEN-THOUSAND-MEN-IN-ARMS -THERE • HAS • BEEN • COMMITTEDA- WORK • AT
ONCE- SO- PROUD . SO • PRECIOUS- SO • FULL- OF • HOPE -AND- GLORY • AS • THE
WORKCOMMITTED-TO-YOU GOVERNOR ANDREW
On the marble at one end of the terrace the words of Mrs. Water-
O-FAIR-HAIRED-NORTHERN-HERO •• WTTH-THY-GUARDOFDUSKY-HUE
UP- FROM- THE • HELD • OF • BATTLE •• RISE • TO • THE • LAST • REVIEW
On the marble at the other end of the terrace the words of Emer-
WHOEVERFIGHTS-WHOEVERFALLS - JUSTICE-CONQUERSEVERMORE
BY MAJOR HENRY LEE HIGGINSON
DELIVERED IN SANDERS THEATRE, CAMBRIDGE
MAY 30, 1897
DELIVERED IN SANDERS THEATRE, CAMBRIDGE,
BY MAJOR HENRY LEE HIGGINSON, MAY 30,
,TU DENTS of Harvard University, and
men of the Grand Army of the Republic,
to-morrow, the Decoration Day of this year,
will be made memorable by the unveiling
of Mr. Augustus St. Gaudens' monument
to Colonel Robert G. Shaw and to the officers and men
of the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers ; and
by an address delivered in the Music Hall of Boston,
by Professor William James, one of whose brothers was
adjutant of the 54th and another an officer of the 55th
Regiment — both regiments colored troops ; and still
further by an address from Booker T. Washington, Prin-
cipal of the Institute at Tuskegee, Alabama.
To us it is a joyful day, for each year it marks the
memories of comrades whose intelligence showed to them
the right course, whose hearts approved it, and whose
characters enabled them to take and keep it unflinch-
Decoration Day is their day, and all the rest of the
year belongs to you.
To-day I wish to talk to you of the 54th Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry colored, commanded
by Colonel Robert Shaw, and of slavery, which, as a
deadly poison to our nation, they strove to remove.
address by Any word of mine which may seem harsh to our bro-
lee higginson thers of the South has no such meaning or feeling. The
sin of slavery was national, and caused the sin of dis-
union. Together we wiped out with our blood these two
great wrongs long ago, and we also wiped out all unkind
I for one feel sure of this last fact, and think that it
has been helped by the conviction that our blows were
aimed at the sins of slavery and of disunion, and not at
My reason for speaking of slavery is to show you the
thoughts and faith of our youth, the conditions surround-
ing it, and the results to us as men.
My reason for speaking of the 54th Regiment is to
set forth the devotion and great courage of its officers
and men, for they knew full well that they should suffer
the dislike of many Northerners and the extreme ire of
Southerners ; and yet they dared all — and by their high
bearing and conduct made an epoch in a very troubled
My reason for asking leave to say a few words about
Robert Shaw is that we, his comrades, respected and ad-
mired him more and more as time went on. Won at
first by his great gift of personal charm, we were held
fast by his high, simple, and loyal character. No doubt
our country had many such, and indeed both armies were
rilled with men who, seeking nothing for themselves, did
their duty well and then went quietly back to their homes.
But Robert Shaw, while happy and content in his own
regiment, nevertheless chose the nobler part of serving
at the post of greatest danger and of obloquy, and thus
helped the negroes to a standing unknown and indeed
denied to them heretofore.
Therefore we held Robert Shaw dear, and so I would
speak to you of him. If you think my words those of a
friend and a lover, I can only answer that if you had address by
known him, you also would have loved him as we did. lee higginson
To many people of New England in the decades be-
fore i860, the ideas and tenets of the Puritan church
and the Constitution of the United States were the foun-
dation stones of their faith, — not to be questioned, not
even examined. These people received their religion and
their morality ready made, and both of them in conform-
ity with the established ideas ; and they were content.
If any one dissented and cared to think for himself, he
was dangerous, and therefore in a degree ostracized.
This was natural and safe, and yet cowardly, even para-
lyzing, for the world cannot stand still without decay.
Yet even then the transcendentalists had come and the
abolitionists were talking hotly, and the younger genera-
tion was listening, and thinking for itself ; and the storm
was brewing. The love of the Constitution was admira-
ble, and the wish to leave undisturbed so knotty a ques-
tion as slavery natural and perhaps wise ; but the question
could not be let alone. In the course of nature, slavery
had either to grow larger or smaller ; and if smaller, then
its existence was endangered. This point the Southern
statesmen — keen-eyed and long-headed, clever men —
clearly saw, and therefore pushed on their policy of exten-
sion ; but just through their very eagerness they failed.
If they had moved more slowly, they might have delayed
the conflict, which was, however, inevitable.
No one living at that time, and hating slavery of any
kind, can forget the stern hand with which many good
men and women repressed freedom of thought, and more
especially thought of slavery. It was a daily pain to meet
one's friends and companions, and be constantly visited
with their displeasure or contempt or neglect if one ven-
tured to disapprove the course of public affairs in this
regard. On the other side were a few idealists or quiet
address by folks, who, though hating slavery, spoke of the anti-slavery
lee^gginson cause as hopeless, and of the United States as irretriev-
ably given over to a deadly sin ; and the abolitionists, who,
most intemperate in their language, demanded the instant
abolition of slavery or the breaking of the Union, — al-
most preferably the latter.
Then came the Fugitive Slave law, under which run-
away slaves were arrested, tried here, and sent back to
their owners ; the last and bitterest case being that of
Anthony Burns, who, guarded by a marshal's posse of
hired roughs, by United States troops and by our best
Massachusetts militia, acting from a sense of duty and in
obedience to law, was marched from the Court House in
Boston to the United States revenue cutter lying at the
wharf and bound for Virginia.
Charles Sumner, speaking his mind in an unwise
fashion before the United States Senate, was beaten in
his seat by a Southern representative, and the foolish and
brutal act was applauded by some good people of our town.
The territories of Kansas and Nebraska were thrown
open to slavery, and the Southerners tried to fasten
slavery on them. But it was too much, and human nature
revolted ; and although the slaveholders had the counte-
nance of the United States authorities and troops, they
were pushed out by the Northern men.
To cap all, our bulwark, the United States Supreme
Court, delivered the famous Dred Scott decision, — only
Judge Curtis dissenting.
It declared that by our Constitution negroes were
not citizens of the United States, and that they had
never had any rights which the white man was bound to
respect; and that they might justly and lawfully be
enslaved for their own good.
All this time what were the young men, whose souls
were rilled with these horrors, saying and doing ?
They could not go along with the abolitionists ; they address by
could not go along with the men who despaired of their lee^iggjnson
country's virtue and wisdom.
A man cannot give up his mother, cannot blush for
his sweetheart, cannot deny his God. In a moment of
weakness or doubt he may try to do these things, but he
The young men were growing up, were thinking hard,
aching all over, were telling themselves that their elders
were passing from the stage, and they themselves were
coming on it — and they were quietly swearing that
truth and freedom should win. They must gather
strength and learn patience, — even learn it patiently, —
and be ready for their day, which was near at hand.
At last came the struggle, the election of Lincoln, the
secession of one State after another, the attack on a
United States fort and soldiers ; and men, springing to
their feet, thanked God that at last the beginning of the
end was in sight, and that the rending of our beloved
country through slavery should cease. It was a great
relief to many patient people ; but the nation had still
much to do and to bear.
The abolitionists stood aloof, refusing to help, unless
slavery was at once abolished by law. They even clam-
ored to " let the wayward Southern sisters go in peace,"
and convinced many good people of the wisdom of this
The mass of Northern citizens stood only on keeping
the Union whole ; and most of our young soldiers,
refusing to touch the question of slavery, or to trench
on the rights of the slaveholders, enlisted in order to
save their country. Our President called on the loyal
States for troops, and the great war began, — a war which,
caused by slavery, was waged chiefly to uphold the
address by integrity of the United States. Such was the thought
^mGGiNSON and feeling of the North.
But the yeast was in the dough and was working ; and
as the fearful struggle between the two great sections of
the nation went on, with ever varying fortunes, we saw
clearly by the light of the camp-fires that our govern-
ment, based on a system of slavery, could not exist in
peace and health. While the nation was learning this
truth, our great President was patiently biding his time ;
and at last, seeing that the hour for casting off slavery by
law had come, issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Although the war was then eighteen months old, this
step was a shock to many excellent Northern citizens
who did not see that all reason for the upholding of
slavery had ceased. " The mills of the gods grind
slowly, but they grind exceeding small."
Only those living in the early days of '61 can guess at
the fever-heat, the enthusiasm and loyalty glowing in our
people at that time and which burst forth at the Presi-
dent's first call for troops. The first regiments to march
felt the full force of this tide, and among them was the
splendid 7th Regiment, New York National Guard, the
pride of that city. In this regiment Robert Shaw
served as a private soldier. As it swung out from Union
Square into Broadway, it was greeted with a roar which
lasted all the way to the Battery, where it embarked, and
Robert Shaw, the flank man of his platoon, was seized
and kissed by man after man, as they marched down
He served his thirty days in Maryland and Washing-
ton, and then was commissioned in the 2d Regiment
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
It was the first regiment enlisted for three years or
the war and accepted by the United States, and in it I
had the honor to serve. During the early days of camp
life, May, '61, at Brook Farm in West Roxbury, I first address by
saw Robert Shaw, and was captivated by him, as most lee^igginson
Let me tell you how he looked : his figure was
firmly and closely knit, rather short and erect, and his
gait and movements alert. His features were delicate
and well-cut, and set off by a fine complexion and win-
ning, merry blue eyes and golden hair, — a very hand-
some man. He had charming, easy, frank manners, and
gay, yet thoughtful ways. Every one liked him, and all
trusted him implicitly. He did his full share of the new
and severe work, and brightened life by his droll words
and his cheerful smiles.
We young fellows, full of enthusiasm and bent only on
defending our country, had been drawn by an irresistible
impulse into the service. We could not stay at home,
and were very eager to make ourselves soldiers.
We were fortunate in learning our first lessons from
two well-trained and able West Point officers, Colonel
George H. Gordon and Lieutenant-Colonel George L.
Andrews, who spared neither themselves nor us in every
detail of duty.
And so we worked away in camp, and marched on
July 8, 1 86 1, through Boston; were taken to New
York, Philadelphia, and Hagerstown, and thence marched
to Virginia and Harper's Ferry. There the engine-
house of the United States Armory, within whose walls
John Brown had been captured, was our guard-house ;
and among other daily duties our regiment was ordered
to stop runaway slaves and give them up to their owners
who might claim them. It was a great trial to Robert
Shaw as to many of us, but we had just sworn obedience
to the United States, and had no recourse from this
The summer and early fall were spent in the usual
address by duties of soldiers, — except that of fighting, — but we
lee^hgg^nson g ot the needed training, the habits which insure involun-
tary obedience and efficiency ; and we learned the proper
care of our own health and that of our men. Each
officer vied with the others in raising the standard of
work, and Robert Shaw did his full share, enlivening it
with his gayety and his very presence. Now and again
came an alarm or a little picket-firing, and late in October
we had a sharp night march to Ball's Bluff, with high
hopes of a good fight ; but we arrived only in time to see
the wounded men who had been rescued from death or
After some months of service, Major Greely Curtis,
Captain Motley, and I were commissioned in the ist
Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry, and thus
were parted from our old friends. We rarely met Robert
Shaw after that, but we watched the course of the 2d
Massachusetts Regiment, gloried in its splendid service,
and mourned for its great losses at the battles of Win-
chester, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, and Gettysburg.
Except during a few months on the staff of General
Gordon, our first Colonel, Robert Shaw served contin-
uously with the 2d Massachusetts. It was his school
and home for nearly two years, and its honor is his
honor. It served in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsyl-
vania, and had a foremost part in many of our great
battles there until the fall of '63, when it was sent West
to serve under General Grant in the Chattanooga cam-
paign, and finally marched with Sherman to the sea and
to North Carolina, where Johnston's army surrendered
to the Federal army under Sherman.
Four years to a day after this regiment went into
camp at Brook Farm, it entered Richmond, May 11,
1865. The war had been fought out, President Lincoln
had been killed, and peace ruled once more throughout
our land. It had marched from Boston with 38 com- address by
missioned officers and 1040 enlisted men, whose num- leeShgginson
bers were increased several times by recruits. It took
into Richmond four of the original officers and less
than one hundred enlisted men. Its record is that it
never left a position in battle until ordered to do so by
its brigade commander. More cannot be said for
One morning in February, '63, as our regiment, the
1st Massachusetts Cavalry, lay in camp before Freder-
icksburg, Robert Shaw and Charles Morse, who also
was a fine officer of the 2d Massachusetts, rode up to the
little log-house in which Greely Curtis and I lived.
We four had marched from Boston together, had lived
and worked together, and were held together by strong
bonds. Robert Shaw, who was very fond of Greely
Curtis, came to tell us that he was going home to be
colonel of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, colored.
This was great news, indeed a real event in our lives,
for we all knew how much Robert cared for his own
regiment, the 2d Massachusetts, how fond he was of his
old comrades, and how contrary to his wishes this move
Sure of all this, and knowing well the full significance
and nobility of the step, we two troopers expressed our
strong approval and sympathy with his action, which
greatly pleased him, for at that date plenty of good
people frowned on the use of colored troops. Bob said,
" Governor Andrew has asked me, and I am going ; but
if either of you fellows will go, I '11 gladly serve under
you. I don't want the higher rank." We should have
been glad to serve under him, but had our duty to per-
form in our own regiment ; and so we could only bid
From the beginning of the war, our great Governor
address by Andrew had thought that colored men should be
lee^igg^nson enlisted as soldiers, and at last, after many urgent pleas
from his eloquent lips, had got leave from the War De-
partment to raise such a regiment in Massachusetts.
Looking around for a commander, he had lighted on
Robert Shaw, and asked his father, Mr. Francis G.
Shaw, to take the offer to his son. Robert refused,
doubting his own capacity, and his father went home.
Next day Robert talked the matter over with his com-
manding officer, who assured him of his entire fitness
for the task, and therefore he telegraphed to Governor
Andrew his acceptance of the offer.
He writes at this time to his mother : " I feel con-
vinced I shall never regret having taken this step, as
far as I myself am concerned ; for while I was undecided
I felt ashamed of myself, as if I were cowardly." It was
all in accord with his nature. He had a singularly
simple, direct, earnest, true mind and character. He
held strong opinions and beliefs which governed him,
and was not tortured with doubts as so many people are.
He took things as they came, and did the plain duty
ready to his hand. He thought for himself ; revolted
at the sight of injustice or cruelty ; was full of courage
and manliness, and enriched and warmed his own life
and that of others by his sympathy and affection. Not
a sign of fanaticism or of sentimentality, but a deep,
true and warm reverence for goodness and nobility in
men and women, was always present and expressed.
He had been fortunate in parents who held high and
generous views of life, and who brought up their
large family in the same spirit. Our land is to-day the
richer for the work and the lives of this family circle,
— of brilliant soldiers, scholars, public citizens, — Mr.
Francis G. Shaw, General Francis C. Barlow, Colonel
Charles R. Lowell, George William Curtis, and Robert
B. Minturn, — and the name of one woman now living is address by
always heard throughout our land when good deeds are lee^igchnson
During his camp life with the 2d Massachusetts,
Robert Shaw, following his natural bent, had turned to
the men of the highest character and ideas, and he gave
them his confidence and affection. They in their turn
loved him for his charms and his great virtues. In those
days he never seemed to be a distinguished man, and
yet even then a rare man. He was like a day in June,
sweet, wholesome, vigorous, breezy.
But his qualities of which I speak blended so well that
they carried him straight forward to a great work, and
thus to high honor. With plenty of brains, he never-
theless was chiefly distinguished through his character,
which is by far the finer and rarer gift.
My words fail to give a full picture of the man. Lis-
ten to a letter written just after Robert Shaw's death by
one fellow-officer of the 2d Massachusetts to another.
The writer had met Robert Shaw first in camp at Brook
Farm, had served by his side for two years, and was
himself a high-minded, simple-hearted, loyal soldier and
gentleman, who had just distinguished himself highly at
Gettysburg. He writes : —
" I suppose it was as great a shock to you as it was to
me, Bob Shaw's death ; it seemed almost impossible to
" I never had any one's death come home to me so, as
his did. I never knew a fellow I liked so much nor could
sympathize with so fully. He had such a happy dispo-
sition that it was always pleasant to be near him. I 've
often in camp gone into his tent to sit and read, when
neither of us would say a word for an hour, merely for
address by " I have accepted it as a natural consequence when
lee HiGGmsoN other g ood fellows have been killed, but Bob's death I
can't get over. I don't think I ever knew any one who
had everything so in his favor for a happy life.
" Not looking at it selfishly, his death was certainly a
glorious one. Very few officers have had such a chance
to distinguish themselves, nor will be so well remem-
bered. His regiment must have done nobly."
This is a letter to Colonel Greely Curtis from Colonel
Charles Morse of the 2d Massachusetts, who sits among
you ; and is but what we all felt about our dear and
When Robert Shaw reached the camp of the 54th
Regiment at Readville in February, he took up his task
with both hands, and thoroughly trained himself, and
ably assisted by all his officers he made his regiment
ready for service by the end of May, a regiment with
which he was well content. On the 2d of May, '63, he
was married, and on the 28th of May, the 54th broke
camp and came to Boston to take the steamer for South
I would say a word of his white officers, with Colonel
Norwood Hallowell and Colonel Edward Hallowell at
the head of the list. They were young fellows, many of
whom had already been serving in other regiments, while
some were fresh from college or other pursuits. It was
a very fine body of officers, who had looked their work
in the face and were doing it well.
Can you see those brave black men, well-drilled and
disciplined, proud of themselves, proud of their hand-
some colonel (he was only twenty-six years old) and
of their gallant, earnest young white officers, marching
through crowded streets in order to salute Governor
Andrew, their true friend, standing before the State
House surrounded by his staff of chosen and faithful address by
aids ; and then once more marching to the steamer at L ee higginson
Battery Wharf, while thousands of men and women
cheered them — the despised race — to the echo as they
went forth to blot out with their own blood the sin of
the nation ? Every negro knew that he ran other and
greater risks than the soldiers of the white regiments ;
and still more, every one of those white officers knew
that even at the hands of many, many Northern officers
and men he would not receive equal treatment.
Such had been the opinion and feeling even in our own
State, but the tide here had turned ; turned through the
courage and character of our great Governor, through
the disinterestedness and devotion of these very white
officers ; turned by the power of God Almighty.
The 54th Regiment did its regular service and some
sharp fighting, but Colonel Shaw was constantly seeking *
a chance to put his men to a severe trial by the side of
tried white troops ; and he was sure of the result. " I
do hope they will give us a chance," he said. On July
18, an assault on Fort Wagner was ordered, and the
lead was offered by General Strong to Colonel Shaw,
who eagerly seized the chance.
The assault was ordered about sundown and made at
once. All the preparations were in full sight of the men
in the fort, who were ready to meet it. Colonel Shaw
saw clearly the great danger of the assault ; that it was
a desperate chance ; but thus far he had taken the duty
right to hand, and he took this duty also. The attack
gallantly made succeeded for a short time ; but the
resistance was equally gallant and stubborn, and the
slaughter was great. The 54th, notwithstanding a hard
fight, was beaten back, and Colonel Shaw, two of his
officers, and many of his men, were killed, — killed right
on the ramparts, while many more were wounded.
ADDRESS BY " Ri § ht in the van
MAJOR HENRY On the red rampart's slippery swell,
LEE HIGGINSON With heart that beat a charge, he fell
Foeward, as fits a man :
But the high soul burns on to light men's feet
Where death for noble ends makes dying sweet."
Thus these white officers and these black men had
atoned, so far as in them lay, for the sin of slavery ; and
the negroes had won their places as brave, steady sol-
diers. Recruits as they were, they had been sorely tried,
and by their gallantry had made an epoch in the war
and in the history of the black race.
One fact you should know. General Thomas Steven-
son of Massachusetts was in command of the field dur-
ing the night following the assault, and personally saw to
it that the wounded black soldiers were brought within
our lines before the wounded white soldiers, thinking
the former more likely to suffer at the hands of the en-
emy than the latter, for the Confederate Government had
issued orders to hang or enslave any one serving in the
colored regiments, because such service was regarded as
inciting servile insurrection.
The 54th Regiment served throughout the war, distin-
guished itself by its steady courage in the field and by
its soldierly bearing in camp and in Charleston, South
Carolina, after the declaration of peace, and at last came
home to due honor at the hands of Governor Andrew
and his staff, standing on the State House steps just
opposite to the spot where this monument has been
In the name of our university, I salute the 54th Regi-
ment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Colored, officers
and men, and thank them for their bravery and their
steadfastness in service.
They have done their duty nobly, and will be immor-
talized by the beautiful monument which Mr. St. Gau-
dens has with infinite work and love wrought to their address by
memory, and which he will unveil to our eyes to-morrow, lee^iggjnson
Their story is but an episode in the story of the great
war and in the story of civilization ; and yet how momen-
Harvard students ! this record of past days is full
of meaning for you and for us all, to-day and always.
Our nation was in great trouble and in dire need of men
who could see the truth — our Harvard motto — and
uphold it. These men came forth and upheld the truth,
and the trouble was overcome.
No doubt the cost in the lives of men and the agony
of women, and also in the demoralization from war was
great; but the right prevailed, and the United States of
America came out of the fiery trial intact, and took its
place among the great nations of the earth.
Of course, the troubled times developed these men,
but the times will always be troubled, and will always
develop men who are ready for service — be it war or
War is a dreadful remedy, to be used only when all else
fails, but when the great need comes, remember our Vir-
ginian Colonel Robert Williams' order to us, his troop-
ers, " Gentlemen, during action if you are in doubt, ride
straight to the front and charge ! "
Boys, your generation also in turn has its own fresh
ideals, and its message to the world, which we older men
welcome ; but we would also help you to see the needs
We know that under stress of war you would prove
yourselves brave and loyal soldiers, but your trial comes
in the days of peace, and you as citizens are quite as
much needed at the front as we were in '61.
Let your enthusiasm and your love for noble thoughts
and deeds, for noble men and women, have full swing,
address by and they will show to you clearly your birthright, — the
lee^iggtnson duty and beauty of serving your country.
The honor of the nation rests with you, for the hope
of a nation is in its young men.
In yonder cloister, on the tablet with his classmates of
i860 is engraved the name of Robert Gould Shaw.
He will always be an heroic figure to you, while to us —
his comrades — he will be all this, and furthermore the
dear friend, respected and beloved.
Harvard students ! whenever you hear of Colonel
Shaw, or of any officer or of any man of the 54th Massa-
chusetts Regiment, salute him in the name of Harvard
University and Harvard men.
UNVEILING OF THE SHAW
MAY 31, 1897
UNVEILING OF THE MONUMENT TO
COLONEL ROBERT G. SHAW
Francis H. Appleton.
James T. Soutter.
HONORARY MILITARY STAFF
Colonel Charles F. Morse.
Colonel Robert H. Stevenson.
Colonel James Francis.
Major Henry L. Higginson.
(Members of Governor Wolcotfs Staff)
Colonel Gordon Dexter,
with 7th Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y., and 1st Cadets,
M. V. M.
Colonel Edward B. Robins,
with Battalion of Survivors.
Colonel Frank E. Locke,
with United States Forces.
Colonel Richard D. Sears,
with Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.
J. S. Russell.
W. Cameron Forbes.
R. L. Agassiz.
R. H. Hallowell.
Theodore Lyman, Jr.
T. G. Stevenson.
S. E. Courteney.
F. H. Kennard.
Chester C. Rumrill.
Alexander H. Higginson
J. Bertram Read.
George L. Peabody, Chief.
R. E. Forbes.
D. H. Coolidge, Jr.
R. S. Codman.
Alexander H. Ladd.
Frank W. Hallowell.
T. P. Curtis.
B. B. Crowninshield.
Henry A. Curtis.
George Francis Curtis.
Thomas E. Sherwin.
Edward W. Atkinson.
AIDS IN MUSIC HALL
Elliot C. Lee, Chief.
J. Mott Hallowell. Joseph Warren.
Hugh Williams. John Warren.
J. Lowell Putnam. Walter Briggs.
REPORT OF GENERAL FRANCIS H.
CHIEF MARSHAL AT THE UNVEILING OF THE
COLONEL ROBERT G. SHAW MONUMENT ON
3 1 st MAY, 1897.
ITH the approval of the Mayor of Boston,
which city became the recipient of the
Monument, and with the approval of the
Governor of this Commonwealth where
the Monument is to remain, Colonel Henry
Lee, acting Chairman of the Committee of Subscribers,
invited me, early in the spring, to act as Chief Marshal,
and I accepted the invitation.
Having received the assurances of many persons that
success in all respects, except from cloudy skies and a
moist atmosphere, attended all parts of the ceremonies
of unveiling, I have acknowledged the great help given
me by others, by issuing a simple circular, which may
not have reached all whom I wished. If not, I ask the
indulgence of all such participants. The circular is
hereafter made a part of this Report.
The procession on May 31st was ready to start on
time — at 10 a. m. — and did so. The line of march
is given in the Chief Marshal's General Order, No 1.
Although the rain fell lightly at times during the pro-
gress of the parade, large crowds lined the sidewalks
and filled the windows of the buildings, and were on the
public grounds along the line of march.
£££™ T T OF The movements of the troops were made in pursuance
GENERAL - ^ . _. , .. r r
francis h. ot General Orders, No. i.
UNVEILING OF COL. ROBERT G. SHAW MONUMENT
HEADQUARTERS CHIEF MARSHAL
General Orders, > 19 Milk Street,
No. 1. ) Boston, May 24, 1897.
I. On May 31 the Chief Marshal will establish his headquar-
ters at the junction of Beacon and Clarendon streets at 9.30
a. m., and Colonel James T. Soutter will be Adjutant-General
to the Chief Marshal.
II. The Honorary Military Staff and Aids of the Chief Mar-
shal will assemble on Clarendon Street, north of Beacon Street,
promptly at 9.30 A. m., and report to Mr. Edward W. Atkinson,
who will form them in sub-divisions of six files each, head of
column resting on Beacon Street.
III. Organizations on arriving at the places assigned them by
special orders will report the fact to Colonel Soutter at head-
IV. The parade will be formed as follows : —
Platoon of mounted police.
2d Corps of Cadets, M. V. M., as escort to Chief Marshal and
Chief of Staff.
United States Army.
United States Marines.
United States Blue Jackets.
Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.
7th Regiment National Guard State of New York.
1 st Corps of Cadets, M. V M.
Light Battery A, M. V M.
Battalion of Survivors (54th and 55th Infantry,
5th Cavalry and Navy).
Ambulance Corps, M. V. M.
Governor and party.
Platoon of mounted police.
■ V. Each body of troops in the order named will take up the report of
march as its head is uncovered by the organization which pre- FR ancis H.
cedes it, preserving the order prescribed in paragraph IV. APPLETON
VI. Organizations will march in column of companies at full
distance at all times when the width of the street will permit.
Guide will be right except on Summer Street.
VII. The column will move at 10 from the corner of Claren-
don and Beacon streets over the following route : Clarendon
Street (width 35 ft.), Commonwealth Avenue, north side (35 ft.),
Hereford Street (35 ft.), Beacon Street (45 ft.), Beacon Street,
beyond Park Street (22 ft.), School Street (20 ft.), Washington
Street (23 ft.), State Street, north side of Old State House (19
ft.), Congress Street (34 ft), High Street (33 ft.), Summer Street
(34 ft.), to the corner of Washington Street, where the parade
will be dismissed.
VIII. His Excellency Governor Wolcott has consented to
review the parade at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and
Dartmouth Street, north side, place to be designated by a white
flag. After the review, Governor Wolcott and distinguished
guests will be escorted to the Monument.
IX. When the head of the parade is near the Monument at
Joy Street, the Chief Marshal will direct the " Halt " to be
sounded, which will be taken up by each organization. Line
will then be formed to the left on the south sidewalk of Beacon
Street, east of Charles Street, and will be prolonged westerly.
X. Governor Wolcott and party will then be escorted by
Colonel Hallowell's Battalion of Survivors to the Monument,
passing in front of the troops. Organizations will successively
salute as His Excellency reaches the left of their line, the bands
ceasing to play as the next band on their right takes up " Hail
to the Chief." When Colonel Hallowell's Battalion has passed,
each organization will immediately form column to the right and
halt. The Monument having been unveiled, " Forward " will be
sounded by order of the Chief Marshal, and the parade will be
continued, passing the Monument, bands playing (see paragraph
XV.). At the same time the U. S. war ships in the harbor and
Battery A on the Common will be signaled to fire salutes in
honor of the occasion.
XI. The parade will be reviewed by the Chief Marshal on
report of Summer Street, at the corner of Lincoln Street, place to be
francis L h. designated by a blue flag on the left.
appleton XII. Troops will "port arms" for the salute at points desig-
nated by the white and blue flags.
XIII. Commanders will not leave the column to go near the
reviewing officers, but will continue the march with their com-
XIV. No halting of the column will be made in the vicinity
of the dismissal. After clearing the corner of Washington and
Summer streets, should any contraction of space take place, the
order to close in mass will at once be given.
XV. Each band will play the " Battle Hymn of the Repub-
lic," as a march at Joy Street, on Beacon Street, and cease at
Bowdoin Street. Bands will not turn out at the reviewing
points, and will observe a cadence of one hundred paces per
By Order of Francis H. Appleton,
James T. Soutter,
A djutant- General.
Colonel N. P. Hallowell issued the following circular
to the survivors of the Massachusetts colored regi-
ments : —
[CIRCULAR No. 2.]
Boston, Mass., May 20, 1897.
TO THE SURVIVORS OF THE FIFTY-FOURTH AND
FIFTY-FIFTH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY, AND
THE FIFTH MASSACHUSETTS CAVALRY REGI-
Comrades : —
The responses to Circular No. I indicate some 225 officers
and enlisted men who will participate in the ceremonies of the
dedication of the Memorial to Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, at
Boston, on Monday, May 31, 1897, including some twenty-five
Massachusets veterans of the Navy who will march with the
The main purpose of this Circular is to request Comrades report of
to report promptly at 9 o'clock, Monday morning, on Arlington fr^ncis H
Street. There will be some thirty minutes only in which to APPLETON
form the command and to distribute the tickets for Music Hall.
Comrades will wear dark clothes, blue preferred, with army hat
or cap and white gloves.
At 9.30 o'clock the Battalion must be in readiness to be
escorted to its place in line.
After the exercises in Music Hall the line will form on
Winter Street, and thence march to Faneuil Hall, where a col-
lation will be served.
The Battalion formation will be as follows : —
The Boston Germania Band,
Commander of the Battalion and his Aids,
54th Infantry, Colonel George Pope commanding.
55th Infantry, Colonel William Nutt commanding.
5th Cavalry, Colonel Henry S. Russell commanding.*
Navy Veterans, under command of Comrade Joseph H. Smith.
AIDS TO COMMANDER.
Lieutenant Stephen S. Swails, 54th,
Lieutenant William H. Dupree, 55th,
Lieutenant Charles L. Mitchell, 55th,
Sergeant J. N. Kellogg, 5th,
Comrade Isaac S. Mullen, Navy.
N. P. HALLOWELL,
Colonel Commanding Battalion of Survivors.
Address, Lieutenant William H. Dupree, Sec'y,
Station A, Boston, Mass.
Escorted by the military were the following invited
guests in carriages : —
Carriage No 1.
* In the absence of Colonel Russell, Captain Henry P. Bowditch com-
manded the survivors of the 5th Cavalry.
report OF Colonel Henry Lee, Chairman of the Committee of Subscribers,
FRANCIS H. anc * member of Governor Andrew's Staff.
appleton * Adjutant-General Dalton.
Carriage No. 2 (right).
Admiral Sicard, U. S. Navy.
Commander West, Chief of Staff.
Carriage No. 3 (left).
Colonel J. L. Carter, Governor's Staff.
Brigadier-General W. S. Stryker.
Captain Silas Casey, Commanding "New York."
Honorable William- P. Lawrence, President of the Senate.
Carriage No. 4.
Captain Frederick Rodgers, Commanding "Massachusetts."
President C. W. Eliot of Harvard University.
Carriage No. 5.
Mr. Edward Atkinson, Treasurer of Committee.
Charles L. Barlow, nephew of Colonel Shaw.
President Booker T. Washington.
Hubert Minturn, nephew of Colonel Shaw.
Carriage No. 6.
Mr. Augustus St. Gaudens, Sculptor.
Professor William James, Orator.
Reverend Edward H. Hall, Chaplain.
Lieutenant C. C. Marsh, Flag Secretary.
Carriage No. 7.
Honorable Martin P. Kennard, Member of the Committee.
Lieutenant E. H. Harlow, Flag Lieutenant U. S. N.
Colonel H. N. Hooper.
[A platoon from the 1st Corps of Cadets, M. V. M.
marched in front of the Governor's carriage as body-guard.]
As the head of Colonel Hallowell's Battalion, escorting report of
Governor Wolcott along the front of the line of troops francis h.
on Beacon Street to the State House, reached the Monu- APPLETON
ment, their line was formed on the south sidewalk of
Beacon Street, and the Governor was saluted by them.
Upon alighting from the carriages the Governor and
party took position on the front steps of the State House,
and found the space between the State House fence and
the Monument cleared of people. Colonel Henry Lee,
Chairman, addressed the Governor briefly, and at a sig-
nal the beautiful Monument was unveiled by two nephews
of Colonel Shaw, under the superintendence of Mr. Ed-
His Excellency, Governor Roger Wolcott, replied
briefly ; and simultaneously with the unveiling, the three
U. S. ships lying in the upper harbor, the flagship
New York, the Massachusetts, and the Texas, com-
menced, each in turn, firing salutes of twenty-one guns ;
while Battery "A," M. V. M., Captain J. C. R. Pea-
body, commenced a salute of seventeen guns on the
Parade Ground of the Common ; and the march was
resumed, with the leading band playing the " Battle
Hymn of the Republic," the tune being " Glory, glory,
At the moment of unveiling, the Chief Marshal and
his bugler were at the side of Colonel Lee, on the State
House sidewalk. As the flags fell from the Monument,
the bugler was ordered to sound " forward," the signal-
man on the top of the State House dipped his flag, the
two signal men on the Ames Building were permitted to
lower the large flag on that building, and the six opera
glasses on the war ships caught a glimpse of the falling
flag, as the clouds kindly parted, which was their signal
to commence firing. In like manner, but along the mall
report of of the Common, by its own men, was the Battery notified
GKNERAL . . . .
francis h. to begin its salute.
The procession having moved again, the Chief Mar-
shal resumed his place in the column.
The Governor and party under ist Cadet escort, and
with the attention of the dismounted Aids, soon resumed
their places in the carriages, and were ready to be es-
corted to the Winter Street entrance of Music Hall
through the business portion of the city.
After reviewing the troops, the Chief Marshal and
Honorary Military Staff took position in front of Colonel
Hallowell's Battalion, and, proceeding up Summer to
Winter Street, there dismounted and entered Music Hall.
The presence in Boston of the famous 7th Regi-
ment of New York, with which Colonel Shaw first went
to the front in 1861, was a marked feature in the parade.
The entertainment of the 7th Regiment, N. G. S. N. Y.,
by the ist Corps of Cadets, and the proposed trip of both
these organizations to the Country Club on Monday,
which rain prevented ; together with the impressive ser-
vice held in Trinity Church on the previous Sunday
afternoon by Dr. E. Winchester Donald, exclusively for
these two organizations, the Chief Marshal and his Adju-
tant-General being permitted to attend, should be here
The courtesy extended by the 2d Corps of Cadets was
a feature of May 31.
I conclude my Report with the following circular, to
which I have already referred : —
headquarters chief marshal.
Circular. 19 Milk Street,
Boston, i June, 1897.
Expressions of high appreciation are hereby extended to
all who have in any way taken part in securing the success
which attended the ceremonies incident to the unveiling of the report of
Memorial to Colonel Robert G. Shaw, made possible by the general
Subscribers, framed and to be guarded by the City of Boston, appleton
and made grand by Augustus St. Gaudens.
Especial appreciation is extended to the detachments from
the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy ; to the 7th Regiment,
N. G. S. N. Y. ; to the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia ; and
to the survivors of the 54th and 55th Infantry, 5th Cavalry and
Navy, who participated in the parade.
FRANCIS H. APPLETON,
THE UNVEILING OF THE
COLONEL ROBERT G. SHAW
MUSIC HALL, BOSTON, MONDAY, 31 MAY, 1897
ORDER OF EXERCISES
Music Patriotic Airs .... Instrumental
Meeting called to order by the Chief Marshal, and the
Chairman of the Committee on the Monument
called to preside.
Prayer .... Rev. Edward H. Hall, Chaplain of the Day
Greeting to His Excellency the Governor, Roger Wol-
cott, and Transfer of the Monument to His
Honor the Mayor of Boston, by the Chairman
of the Committee.
Address of His Excellency, Governor Wolcott, Presiding Officer
Acceptance by His Honor, Mayor Quincy.
Chorus «< Our Heroes "
Oration . . . Prof. William James, of Harvard University
Chorus " Battle Hymn of the Republic"
Address . Pres. Booker T. Washington, of Ttiskegee Institute
Music America* Instrumental
*A11 joined in singing the air.
CEREMONIES AT MUSIC HALL
EATED upon the platform were the fol-
lowing guests : —
Gen. George L. Andrews.
Gen. F. H. Appleton.
Col. G. M. Barnard.
Hon. A. W. Beard.
Admiral Geo. E. Belknap.
Maj. George Blagden.
Maj. Louis Cabot.
Lieut. C. P. Clark, U. S. N.
Col. Charles R. Codman.
Capt Henry N. Conrey.
Joseph A. Conry, President
Lieut. James W. Cooke.
Edward Parker Deacon.
Perlie A. Dyer, Chairman
Board of Aldermen.
President Charles W. Eliot.
Col. J. M. Ellis.
William Endicott, Jr.
Col. W. H. Forbes.
Capt. John A. Fox.
Col. James Francis.
Maj. J. C. Gray.
Col. Joseph W. Gelray.
Rev. Edward H. Hall.
Col. N. P. Hallowell.
Capt. Francis L. Higginson.
Col. H. L. Higginson.
Col. O. W. Holmes.
Capt. Edward H. Holt.
Surg. John Homans.
Col. Henry N. Hooper.
Col. Charles H. Hopper.
Col. Charles P. Horton.
Com. Howison, Navy Yard.
William Jackson, City En-
Prof. William James, Orator.
AT MUSIC HALL
M. P. Kennard.
Rt. Rev. William Lawrence.
Wm. P. Lawrence, Presi-
dent of Senate.
Col. Henry Lee.
John M. Little.
Col. Thomas L. Livermore.
Gen. Charles G. Loring.
Lieut. Wm. T. McAlpine.
Capt. Dennis Meehan.
Lieut. George W. Moore.
Col. C. F. Morse.
Col. T. L. Motley.
Gen. Robert S. Oliver.
George L. Osgood, Leader
Gen. John C. Palfrey.
Theodore K. Parker.
Gen. Charles L. Peirson.
Lieut. Richard Pendergast.
Capt. George Perkins, U.
Hon. E. L. Pierce.
Col. George Pope.
Mayor Josiah Quincy.
Col. A. A. Rand.
Gen. John H. Reed.
Capt. Morris P. Richardson.
Royal E. Robbins.
Col. Edward B. Robins.
John C. Ropes.
Col. Thomas Sherwin.
Maj. J. L. Stackpole.
Gen. Hazard Stevens.
Col. Robert H. Stevenson.
Augustus St. Gaudens.
Capt. Howard Stockton.
Col. Lincoln R. Stone.
Wilson B. Strong.
J. L. Thorndike.
Hon. Winslow Warren.
Gen. Stephen M. Weld.
Governor Roger Wolcott.
Booker T. Washington.
OF COLONEL HENRY LEE
HORTLY after 12.20 p. m., when the Germania Band
had concluded several patriotic airs, the Chief Mar-
shal, Francis H. Appleton, called to order those
assembled, who more than filled the hall, and said : —
" I deem it a high honor to be permitted to call to order this
vast and distinguished audience, myself a soldier of modern
times in the presence of these veterans of war. I esteem it
a further honor, and pleasure, to present to you as temporary
Chairman, Colonel Henry Lee, Chairman of the Committee of
Subscribers, and a member of our war Governor John A. An-
REPORT OF COLONEL HENRY LEE
OU are too partial in calling me chairman
of the committee. I wish the chairman,
John M. Forbes, were here, — a man iden-
tified with Governor Andrew from the cold,
chilly morning of preparation to the last
review of the army in Washington. I say deliberately
that there was no citizen of the Commonwealth who ren-
dered more varied, more continuous, more valuable ser-
vice during the war than John M. Forbes. To the
State " his purse, his person, his extremest means lay all
unlocked to her occasions." Unfortunately, old age has
arrested him and prevented him from taking his place
as chairman this morning.
Friends, more than twenty years ago the subscribers
appointed a committee with full powers to procure a fit-
ting testimonial to Col. Robert G. Shaw and his brave
black soldiers. That committee has completed its task.
It has invited the subscribers, the family and friends of
the hero, with the remnant of his followers, some of his
old comrades in arms, and all others interested, to listen
to its final report, to look upon the memorial they have
procured, to discharge the committee from further labors,
and, if so minded, to crown them with approbation.
Report °f We ask your Excellency to preside on this occasion as
henry lee the chief magistrate of the Commonwealth, and especially
as the successor to our great war governor — the gov-
ernor who was the first to prepare for war, the first to
prepare for peace, the first to urge the policy of emanci-
pation as a war measure, the first to insist upon the right
and duty of the colored men to bear arms, feeling that
not only the liberties of the colored men, but that the
destinies of the country itself were involved in this ques-
When, after two years' delay, the official sanction was
granted, he hastened to organize regiments, to watch
over them and contend for their rights, — promised and
" The monument," said Governor Andrew in his call for
subscriptions, " is intended not only to mark the public
gratitude to the fallen hero, who at a critical moment as-
sumed a perilous responsibility, but also to commemorate
that great event wherein he was a leader, by which the
title of colored men as citizen soldiers was fixed beyond
Time is wanting to detail the labors, anxieties, and dis-
appointments, the weary delays encountered, the anti-
pathy and incredulity of the army and the public at the
employment of colored men as soldiers ; the outrageous
injustice of the Government to the colored soldiers even
after the bloody assault on Fort Wagner, and the final
triumph of the governor, only after a long legal strug-
gle, and after he and his colored soldiers had passed
through great anxiety and misery.
" I was opposed on nearly every side when I first fa-
vored the raising of colored regiments," said President
Lincoln to General Grant, and no one can appreciate the
heroism of Colonel Shaw and his officers and soldiers
without adding to the savage threats of the enemy, the
disapprobation of friends, the antipathy of the army, the £g£g^jp F
sneers of the multitude here, without reckoning the fire henry lee
in the rear as well as the fire in front. One must have
the highest form of courage not to shrink from such dis-
As to the fallen hero who " had put on the crown
of martyrdom," the governor had selected him, after
deliberation, from a family consecrated to patriotism ; had
admired his heroism and was heartsick at his loss.
To express the universal grief at that loss and the ap-
preciation of the great event in which he was a leader,
this monument has been erected.
The State, through Governor Long, generously offered
to the committee an admirable site for the monument,
but upon examination this was declined lest the State
House grounds should be disfigured. In this emergency
the city came to our rescue, and not only furnished the
ground, but made a liberal contribution of the terrace
and framework of the monument. We therefore must
turn to you, Mr. Mayor, and transfer to your Honor this
A generation has passed since this great work was
contemplated. It is over twenty years since it was en-
trusted to the committee which I represent, and twelve
years since it was confided to the sculptor, Mr. St.
Gaudens. Two years was the time allotted for its com-
pletion. These two years have lengthened into twelve, a
period of great anxiety for the committee lest they should
not survive to accomplish their task, or, what was more
important, lest the sculptor should be taken away, with
his work unfinished. Those twelve years have been im-
proved by the artist, whose inexorable conscience com-
pelled him to prolong his labors at all hazards until his
ideal should be realized.
report of Your Honor has witnessed the unveiling of the monu-
henry lee ment, and will, I am sure, congratulate us that, thanks to
the sculptor, we have builded better than we knew.
No sweeter praise could be craved by any artist than
the eulogy pronounced upon his work by the mother of
" You have immortalized my native city, you have im-
mortalized my dear son, you have immortalized your-
OF HIS EXCELLENCY ROGER WOLCOTT
GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
ADDRESS OF HIS EXCELLENCY
GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS
R. CHAIRMAN, Members of the Commit-
tee, Fellow-Citizens: I esteem it a signal
honor and privilege to be called upon to
bear part in these impressive services. We
are met to commemorate not only a gallant,
noble death, — not alone the gallant deaths of those who
fell side by side with Col. Robert G. Shaw, — but we are
here to commemorate an epoch in the history of a race.
On the blood-stained earthworks of Fort Wagner a
race was called into sudden manhood. Even those
whose hearts had yearned with the strongest sympathy
and pity to the colored race had, up to that time, re-
garded as their leading characteristics a meek resigna-
tion, a patient submission to wrong. On that day the
world learned to know that whatever the color of the
skin, the blood that flowed in the veins of the colored
man was red with the lusty hue of manhood and of
heroism. When Abraham Lincoln, for the second time,
took upon himself the great responsibility of the presi-
dency, he spoke, in language that still thrills with a
deep pathos and with lofty faith, the following words :
" If God wills that this mighty scourge of war continue
until all the wealth piled by the bondmen's two hun-
dred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and
until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be
paid by a drop of blood drawn with the sword, as was
said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said,
" The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous
The great price was paid, — the price of heaped-up
treasure, the price of blood drawn from the veins of the
generous and gallant youth of the land. But no heart
to-day, howsoever deeply wounded, can grudge that price.
Willingly and gladly it was given, and it is not with
sorrow, but with joy, that we commemorate the sacrifice.
And so it is with joyful and thankful hearts that we
remember the great deed which is to-day commemorated.
Sleep well, noble and heroic dead ! Live long, equally
noble and heroic survivors. Like those who fell, you
held out your lives a sacrifice to country, and a grateful
nation treasures your act as a part of her undying fame.
The beautiful monument which we have witnessed
unveiled, in which the sculptor, with the hand of genius
seems to have caught, as if by inspiration, and to have
fixed in permanent bronze, the very spirit of that sacri-
fice — that monument becomes to-day the property of
the city of Boston. I have the honor of presenting to
you His Honor Mayor Quincy.
OF HIS HONOR JOSIAH QUINCY
MAYOR OF BOSTON
ADDRESS OF HIS HONOR, JOSIAH
MAYOR OF BOSTON
OUR Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen :
On this national aniversary, dedicated to
the memory of those who died that their
country might live, and that its free soil
might no longer be trodden by the foot of
any slave, we have our own especial commemoration of
one of the most notable events in the history of Boston.
Thirty-four years ago, almost to the very day, our city
witnessed the culmination of the anti-slavery agitation of
which for a quarter of a century she had been the centre.
Tongue and pen had here done their full work for hu-
man freedom ; by other weapons and on other ground
was the final issue to be determined. The time had
come when the worthiness of men with black skins to
bear arms and to be received into the fellowship of
military service was to be put to the trial ; when their
courage and endurance were to be subjected to the
supreme test of the battlefield. And the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts — to her eternal honor — dared to en-
trust her white flag to their keeping, and to place one of
her chivalry at their head. A negro regiment, the first
raised by any Northern State, marched through our
streets, bound for the front, with Robert G. Shaw in
address of command. The outward and visible sign of the enfran-
josiah quincy chisement of a race was here given when the fugitive
slave, transformed into a soldier by authority of a liberty-
loving State, went forth to bear his part in maintaining
the union of the nation and winning the freedom of his
Two months later the answer to the question whether
the negro could fight and die for his country, like the
white man, came back, written in letters of blood, from
the ramparts of Fort Wagner; and a mighty army of
colored troops, no inconsiderable factor in the attainment
of the victory of the North, followed where Colonel Shaw
and the 54th Massachusetts had led the way.
A common trench in the soil of South Carolina, upon
the battle ground which has been well called the
Bunker Hill of the colored race, was the fitting sepul-
chre of white and black, of officer and private. To-day
we raise their monument, not over this far-off and
unmarked grave, but here upon the corner of Boston
Common, where began the march that ended for them
at Wagner. Facing the Capitol of the State in whose
service they were mustered in, on the spot where
Governor Andrew reviewed them and sent them forth
with the godspeed of the Commonwealth, we place this
memorial, — not as a mere likeness of the face and form
of Shaw, but as a monument to the soul of the regiment
which he led, as an expression of the great idea, of the
high purpose which called it into being.
Once more it marches to-day with full ranks, its sur-
vivors again passing through the streets which first knew
their martial tread a third of a century ago, the dead,
recalled to life by the genius of the sculptor, again
marching by the side of their heroic young commander.
" The rest," says the dying Hamlet, " is silence." Yet
from that silence beyond the grave — silence to us only
because our ears are not yet attuned to its harmonies — address of
, * . . , . Ilia rlUJNUK,
there come some living voices, repeating their message josiah quincy
to generation after generation. Such, I think, will be
the voice of Shaw, speaking through those closed lips of
bronze. It is not often those whom the world esteems
the most successful, or the greatest, who leave the most
valuable examples and lessons to posterity. It is rather
the man whose life or death touches some deep chord of
universal sympathy, or appeals to the imagination or the
sentiment of all mankind. When far greater soldiers
are forgotten, our descendants will still cherish the
memory of the gallant youth who fell " with his hurts
before," leading a hopeless charge, blazing the path of
freedom for a race in bondage.
Col. Henry Lee : On behalf of the city of Boston, I
now gratefully accept the gift, precious alike as a memo-
rial of the heroic dead and as a noble work of art, which
you, on behalf of the committee which has so long had
its execution in charge, have just placed in her keeping.
May it stand in its place, telling its great and simple
story, while this city shall stand. I extend to you, sir,
who stood by the side of Governor Andrew, in whose
great heart this regiment had its birth, at whose call
Shaw assumed its command, my felicitations at having
lived to see the dedication of this monument, which is in
no small measure a memorial to the war governor whom
you assisted in his great task.
I should fall short of my duty on this occasion if I
failed also to express the thanks of the city to the sculp-
tor, Augustus St. Gaudens, who has made the execution
of this great work his chief concern through so many
years, largely as a labor of love, and to congratulate him
upon its more than successful completion. May the
lesson which it teaches sink more deeply into the hearts
address of of our people as years go by. If they ever doubt as to
josiah qui'ncy the future of American political institutions, if they ever
despair of the republic, may they here gather new inspi-
ration and courage; may they here more fully realize
that the country of freemen which was worth dying for
a generation ago is worth living for now and hereafter.
And let us here catch the forward step of the 54th Mas-
sachusetts, and serve, in whatever manner the peaceful
opportunities of our time may permit, under the same
glorious colors which it bore.
BY PROFESSOR WILLIAM JAMES
OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY
^VERNOR WOLCOTT: In that splendid charge
at Fort Wagner, side by side with those to whom
was given the happy destiny of an heroic death,
were others, white and black, who like them gladly
held out their lives a willing offering to Fate. Among these,
wounded but not dead, fell Adjutant James. It is fitting that
the committee should have selected his brother, Professor
William James of Harvard University, to tell the story that is
commemorated in this monument.
ORATION BY PROFESSOR WILLIAM
OUR Excellency, your Honor, Soldiers and
Friends : In these unveiling exercises the
duty falls to me of expressing in simple
words some of the feelings which have
actuated the givers of St. Gaudens' noble
work of bronze, and of briefly recalling the history of
Robert Shaw and of his regiment to the memory of this
possibly too forgetful generation.
The men who do brave deeds are usually unconscious
of their picturesqueness. For two nights previous to
the assault upon Fort Wagner, the 54th Massachusetts
Regiment had been afoot, making forced marches in the
rain ; and on the day of the battle the men had had no
food since early morning. As they lay there in the evening
twilight, hungry and wet, against the cold sands of Morris
Island, with the sea-fog drifting over them, their eyes
fixed on the huge bulk of the fortress looming darkly
three quarters of a mile ahead against the sky, and their
hearts beating in expectation of the word that was to
bring them to their feet and launch them on their des-
perate charge, neither officers nor men could have been
in any holiday mood of contemplation. Many and dif-
ferent must have been the thoughts that came and went
in them during that hour of bodeful reverie ; but however
free the flights of fancy of some of them may have been,
professor* it: is im P robable that an Y one who lay there had so wild
william james and whirling an imagination as to foresee in prophetic
vision this morning of a future May, when we, the peo-
ple of a richer and more splendid Boston, with mayor
and governor, and troops from other States, and every
circumstance of ceremony, should meet together to
celebrate their conduct on that evening, and do their
memory this conspicuous honor.
How, indeed, comes it that out of all the great engage-
ments of the war, engagements in many of which the
troops of Massachusetts had borne the most distinguished
part, this officer, only a young colonel, this regiment of
black men and its maiden battle, — a battle, moreover,
which was lost, — should be picked out for such unusual
The historic importance of an event is measured
neither by its material magnitude, nor by its immediate
success. Thermopylae was a defeat ; but to the Greek
imagination, Leonidas and his few Spartans stood for the
whole worth of Grecian life. Bunker Hill was a defeat ;
but for our people, the fight over that breastwork has
always seemed to show as well as any victory that our
forefathers were men of a temper not to be finally over-
come. And so here. The war for our Union, with all
the constitutional questions which it settled, and all the
military lessons which it gathered in, has throughout its
dilatory length but one meaning in the eye of history.
It freed the country from the social plague which until
then had made political development impossible in the
United States. More and more, as the years pass, does
that meaning stand forth as the sole meaning. And no-
where was that meaning better symbolized and embodied
than in the constitution of this first Northern negro
Look at that monument and read the story — see the
mingling of elements which the sculptor's genius has oration by
o o i o PROFESSOR
brought so vividly before the eye. There on foot go the william james
dark outcasts, so true to nature that one can almost hear
them breathing as they march. State after State by its
laws had denied them to be human persons. The South-
ern leaders in congressional debates, insolent in their
security of legalized possession, loved most to designate
them by the contemptuous collective epithet of " this
peculiar kind of property." There they march, warm-
blooded champions of a better day for man. There on
horseback, among them, in his very habit as he lived,
sits the blue-eyed child of fortune, upon whose happy
youth every divinity had smiled. Onward they move
together, a single resolution kindled in their eyes, and
animating their otherwise so different frames. The
bronze that makes their memory eternal betrays the very
soul and secret of those awful years.
Since the 'thirties the slavery question had been the
only question, and by the end of the 'fifties our land lay
sick and shaking with it like a traveler who has thrown
himself down at night beside a pestilential swamp, and
in the morning finds the fever through the marrow of
his bones. " Only muzzle the Abolition fanatics," said the
South, " and all will be well again ! " But the Abolition-
ists could not be muzzled, — they were the voice of the
world's conscience, they were a part of destiny. Weak
as they were, they drove the South to madness. " Every
step she takes in her blindness," said Wendell Phillips,
" is one more step towards ruin." And when South Caro-
lina took the final step in battering down Fort Sumter,
it was the fanatics of slavery themselves who called upon
their idolized institution ruin swift and complete. What
law and reason were unable to accomplish, had now to
be done by that uncertain and dreadful dispenser of
God's judgments, War — War, with its abominably casual,
professor Y inaccurate methods, destroying good and bad together,
william james but at last unquestionably able to hew a way out of in-
tolerable situations, when through man's delusion or per-
versity every better way is blocked.
Our great western republic had from its very origin
been a singular anomaly. A land of freedom, boastfully
so-called, with human slavery enthroned at the heart of
it, and at last dictating terms of unconditional surrender
to every other organ of its life, what was it but a thing
of falsehood and horrible self-contradiction ? For three
quarters of a century it had nevertheless endured, kept
together by policy, compromise, and concession. But at
last that republic was torn in two ; and truth was to be
possible under the flag. Truth, thank God, truth ! even
though for the moment it must be truth written in hell-
And this, fellow-citizens, is why, after the great gen-
erals have had their monuments, and long after the
abstract soldier's-monuments have been reared on every
village green, we have chosen to take Robert Shaw and
his regiment as the subjects of the first soldier's-monu-
ment to be raised to a particular set of comparatively
undistinguished men. The very lack of external compli-
cation in the history of these soldiers is what makes
them represent with such typical purity the profounder
meaning of the Union cause.
Our nation had been founded in what we may call our
American religion, baptized and reared in the faith that
a man requires no master to take care of him, and that
common people can work out their salvation well enough
together if left free to try. But the founders of the Union
had not dared to touch the great intractable exception ;
and slavery had wrought and spread, until at last the
only alternative for the nation was to fight or die. What
Shaw and his comrades stand for and show us is that in
such an emergency Americans of all complexions and oration by
conditions can go forth like brothers, and meet death william james
cheerfully if need be, in order that this religion of our
native land shall not become a failure on the earth.
We of this Commonwealth believe in that religion;
and it is not at all because Robert Shaw was an excep-
tional genius, but simply because he was faithful to it
as we all may hope to be faithful in our measure when
occasion serves, that we wish his beautiful image to stand
here for all time, an inciter to similarly unselfish public
Shaw thought but little of himself, yet he had a per-
sonal charm which, as we look back on him, makes us
say with the poet : " None knew thee but to love thee,
none named thee but to praise." This grace of nature
was united in him in the happiest way with a filial heart,
a cheerful ready will, and a judgment that was true and
fair. And when the war came, and great things were
doing of the kind that he could help in, he went as a
matter of course to the front. What country under
heaven has not thousands of such youths to rejoice in,
youths on whom the safety of the human race depends?
Whether or not they leave memorials behind them,
whether their names are writ in water or in marble, de-
pends mostly on the opportunities which the accidents
of history throw into their path. Shaw recognized
the vital opportunity: he saw that the time had come
when the colored people must put the country in their
Colonel Lee has just told us something about the ob-
stacles with which this idea had to contend. For a large
party of us this was still exclusively a white man's war ;
and should colored troops be tried and not succeed,
confusion would grow worse confounded. Shaw was a
captain in the Massachusetts Second, when Governor
oration by Andrew invited him to take the lead in the experiment.
william james He was very modest, and doubted, for a moment, his own
capacity for so responsible a post. We may also imagine
human motives whispering other doubts. Shaw loved
the Second Regiment, illustrious already, and was sure of
promotion where he stood. In this new negro-soldier
venture, loneliness was certain, ridicule inevitable, failure
possible ; and Shaw was only twenty-five ; and, although
he had stood among the bullets at Cedar Mountain and
Antietam, he had till then been walking socially on the
sunny side of life. But whatever doubts may have beset
him, they were over in a day, for he inclined naturally
towards difficult resolves. He accepted the proffered
command, and from that moment lived but for one ob-
ject, to establish the honor of the Massachusetts 54th.
I have had the privilege of reading his letters to his
family from the day of April when, as a private in the
New York Seventh, he obeyed the President's first call.
Some day they must be published, for they form a veri-
table poem for serenity and simplicity of tone. He took
to camp life as if it were his native element, and (like so
many of our young soldiers) he was at first all eagerness
to make arms his permanent profession. Drilling and
disciplining; interminable marching and countermarch-
ing and picket-duty on the upper Potomac as lieutenant
in the Second Massachusetts Infantry, to which post he
had soon been promoted ; pride at the discipline attained
by the Second, and horror at the bad discipline of other
regiments ; these are the staple matter of the earlier let-
ters, and last for many months. These, and occasional
more recreative incidents, visits to Virginian houses, the
reading of books like Napier's " Peninsular War " or the
" Idylls of the King," Thanksgiving feasts and races
among officers, that helped the weary weeks to glide away.
Then the bloodier business opens, and the plot thickens
till the end is reached. From first to last there is not a oration by
rancorous word against the enemy, — often quite the william james
reverse, — and amid all the scenes of hardship, death,
and devastation that his pen soon has to write of, there
is unfailing cheerfulness and even a sort of innermost
After he left it, Robert Shaw's heart still clung to the
fortunes of the Second. Months later, when in South
Carolina with the 54th, he writes to his young wife:
" I should have been major of the Second now if I had
remained there and lived through the battles. As regards
my own pleasure, I had rather have that place than any
other in the army. It would have been fine to go home
a field officer in that regiment ! Poor fellows, how they
have been slaughtered ! "
Meanwhile he had well taught his new command how
to do their duty ; for only three days after he wrote this
he led them up the parapet of Fort Wagner, where he
and nearly half of them were left upon the ground.
Robert Shaw quickly inspired others with his own love
of discipline. There was something almost pathetic in
the earnestness with which both the officers and men
of the 54th embraced their mission of showing that a
black regiment could excel in every virtue known to
man. They had good success, and the 54th became
a model in all possible respects. Almost the only trace
of bitterness in Shaw's whole correspondence is over
an incident in which he thought his men had been
morally disgraced. It had become their duty, immedi-
ately after their arrival at the seat of war, to participate,
in obedience to fanatical orders from the head of the
department, in the sack and burning of the inoffensive
little town of Darien on the Georgia coast. " I fear," he
writes to his wife, " that such actions will hurt the repu-
tation of black troops and of those connected with them.
oration by For myself I have gone through the war so far without
william james dishonor, and I do not like to degenerate into a plun-
derer and a robber, — and the same applies to every
officer in my regiment. After going through the hard
campaigning and the hard fighting in Virginia, this
makes me very much ashamed. There are two courses
only for me to pursue : to obey orders and say nothing ;
or to refuse to go upon any more such expeditions, and
be put under arrest and probably court-martialed, which
is a very serious thing." Fortunately for Shaw, the
general in command of that department was almost im-
Four weeks of camp life and discipline on the Sea Is-
lands, and the regiment had its baptism of fire. A small
affair, but it proved the men to be stanch. Shaw again
writes to his wife : " You don't know what a fortunate
day this has been for me and for us all, excepting some
poor fellows who were killed and wounded. We have
fought at last alongside of white troops. Two hundred
of my men on picket this morning were attacked by five
regiments of infantry, some cavalry, and a battery of
artillery. The ioth Connecticut were on their left, and
say they would have had a bad time if the 54th men had
not stood so well. The whole division was under arms
in fifteen minutes, and after coming up close in front
of us, the enemy, finding us so strong, fell back. . . .
General Terry sent me word he was highly gratified
with the behavior of our men, and the officers and pri-
vates of other regiments praise us very much. All this
is very gratifying to us personally, and a fine thing for
the colored troops. I know this will give you pleasure,
for it wipes out the remembrance of the Darien affair,
which you could not but grieve over, though we were
The adjutant of the 54th, who made report of this
skirmish to General Terry, well expresses the feelings of oration by
, • i -i • i l PROFKSSOR
loneliness that still prevailed in that command : — william james
" The general's favorite regiment," writes the adju-
tant, 1 " the 24th Massachusetts Infantry, one of the best
that had so far faced the rebel foe, largely officered by
Boston men, was surrounding his headquarters. It had
been a living breathing suspicion with us — perhaps not
altogether justly — that all white troops abhorred our
presence in the army, and that the 24th would rather
hear of us in some remote corner of the Confederacy
than tolerate us in the advance of any battle in which
they themselves were to act as reserves or lookers-on.
Can you not then readily imagine the pleasure which I
felt as I alighted from my horse, before General Terry
and his staff — I was going to say his unfriendly staff,
but of this I am not sure — to report to him, with
Colonel Shaw's compliments, that we had repulsed the
enemy without the loss of a single inch of ground.
General Terry bade me mount again and tell Colonel
Shaw that he was proud of the conduct of his men, and
that he must still hold the ground against any future
sortie of the enemy. You can even now share with me
the sensation of that moment of soldierly satisfaction."
The next night but one after this episode was spent
by the 54th in disembarking on Morris Island in the
rain, and at noon Colonel Shaw was able to report their
arrival to General Strong, to whose brigade he was as-
signed. A terrific bombardment was playing on Fort
Wagner, 'then the most formidable earthwork ever built,
and the general, knowing Shaw's desire to place his men-
beside white troops, said to him : " Colonel, Fort Wag-
ner is to be stormed this evening, and you may lead the
1 G. W. James : " The Assault upon Fort Wagner," in War Papers read
before the Commandery of the State of Wisconsin, Military Order of the
Loyal Legion of the U. S. Milwaukee, 1891.
professor Y commn > if you say yes. Your men, I know, are worn
william james out, but do as you choose." Shaw's face brightened.
" Before answering the general, he instantly turned to
me," writes the adjutant, who reports the interview, " and
said, ' Tell Colonel Hallowell to bring up the 54th im-
This was done, and just before nightfall the attack
was made. Shaw was serious, for he knew the assault
was desperate, and had a premonition of his end. Walk-
ing up and down in front of the regiment, he briefly
exhorted them to prove that they were men. Then he
gave the order : " Move in quick time till within a hun-
dred yards, then double quick and charge. Forward ! "
and the 54th advanced to the storming, its colonel and
the colors at its head.
On over the sand, through a narrow defile which
broke up the formation, double quick over the chevaux
de frise, into the ditch and over it, as best they could,
and up the rampart ; with Fort Sumter, which had seen
them, playing on them, and Fort Wagner, now one
mighty mound of fire, tearing out their lives. Shaw led
from first to last. Gaining successfully the parapet, he
stood there for a moment with uplifted sword, shouting
" Forward, 54th ! " and then fell headlong, with a bullet
through his heart. The battle raged for nigh two hours.
Regiment after regiment, following upon the 54th,
hurled themselves upon its ramparts, but Fort Wagner
was nobly defended, and for that night stood safe. The
54th withdrew after two thirds of its officers and five
twelfths or nearly half its men had been shot down or
bayoneted within the fortress or before its walls. It was
good behavior for a regiment no one of whose soldiers
had had a musket in his hands more than 18 weeks,
and which had seen the enemy for the first time only
two days before.
" The negroes fought gallantly," wrote a Confederate oration by
officer, " and were headed by as brave a colonel as ever william james
As for the colonel, not a drum was heard nor a funeral
note, not a soldier discharged his farewell shot, when the
Confederates buried him, the morning after the engage-
ment. His body, half stripped of its clothing, and the
corpses of his dauntless negroes were flung into one
common trench together, and the sand was shoveled
over them, without a stake or stone to signalize the
spot. In death as in life, then, the 54th bore witness to
the brotherhood of Man. The lover of heroic history
could wish for no more fitting sepulchre for Shaw's mag-
nanimous young heart. There let his body rest, united
with the forms of his brave nameless comrades. There
let the breezes of the Atlantic sigh, and its gales roar
their requiem, while this bronze effigy and these inscrip-
tions keep their fame alive long after you and I and all
who meet here are forgotten.
How soon, indeed, are human things forgotten ! As
we meet here this morning, the Southern sun is shining
on their place of burial, and the waves sparkling and the
sea-gulls circling around Fort Wagner's ancient site.
But the great earthworks and their thundering cannon,
the commanders and their followers, the wild assault and
repulse that for a brief space made night hideous on that
far-off evening, have all sunk into the blue gulf of the
past, and for the majority of this generation are hardly
more than an abstract name, a picture, a tale that is told.
Only when some yellow-bleached photograph of a soldier
of the 'sixties comes into our hands, with that odd and
vivid look of individuality due to the moment when it
was taken, do we realize the concreteness of that by-
gone history, and feel how interminable to the actors in
them were those leaden-footed hours and years. The
2£™c£US Y photographs themselves erelong will fade utterly, and
rKUrbooUK i l r i • i i»i
william james books ot history and monuments like this alone will
tell the tale. The great war for the Union will be like
the siege of Troy, it will have taken its place amongst
all other " old, unhappy, far-off things and battles long
Ah, my friends, and may the like of it never be re-
quired of us again !
It is hard to end a discourse like this without one word
of moralizing ; and two things must be distinguished in
all events like those we are commemorating, — the moral
service of them on the one hand, and on the other the
physical fortitude which they display. War has been
much praised and celebrated among us of late as a school
of manly virtue ; but it is easy to exaggerate upon this
point. Ages ago, war was the gory cradle of mankind,
the grim-featured nurse that alone could train our savage
progenitors into some semblance of social virtue, teach
them to be faithful one to another, and force them to
sink their selfishness in wider tribal ends. War still ex-
cels in this prerogative ; and whether it be paid in years
of service, in treasure, or in life-blood, the war tax is still
the only tax that men ungrudgingly will pay. How
could it be otherwise, when the survivors of one success-
ful massacre after another are the beings from whose
loins we and all our contemporary races spring ? Man
is once for all a fighting animal ; centuries of peaceful
history could not breed the battle-instinct out of us ; and
military virtue is the kind of virtue least in need of rein-
forcement by reflection, least in need of orator's or poet's
What we really need the poet's and orator's help to
keep alive in us is not, then, the common and gregarious
courage which Robert Shaw showed when he marched
with you, men of the Seventh Regiment. It is that more
lonely courage which he showed when he dropped his oration by
* •ii* r~* iii PROFESSOR
warm commission in the glorious becond to head your william james
dubious fortunes, negroes of the 54th. That lonely kind
of valor (civic courage as we call it in peace times) is the
kind of valor to which the monuments of nations should
most of all be reared, for the survival of the fittest has
not bred it into the bone of human beings as it has bred
military valor ; and of five hundred of us who could storm
a battery side by side with others, perhaps not one would
be found ready to risk his worldly fortunes all alone in
resisting an enthroned abuse. The deadliest enemies of
nations are not their foreign foes; they always dwell
within their borders. And from these internal enemies
civilization is always in need of being saved. The nation
blest above all nations is she in whom the civic genius of
the people does the saving day by day, by acts without
external picturesqueness ; by speaking, writing, voting
reasonably ; by smiting corruption swiftly ; by good tem-
per between parties ; by the people knowing true men
when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to
rabid partisans or empty quacks. Such nations have no
need of wars to save them. Their accounts with right-
eousness are always even ; and God's judgments do not
have to overtake them fitfully in bloody spasms and con-
vulsions of the race.
The lesson that our war ought most of all to teach us
is the lesson that evils must be checked in time, before
they grow so great. The Almighty cannot love such
long-postponed accounts, or such tremendous settlements.
And surely He hates all settlements that do such quan-
tities of incidental devils' work. Our present situation,
with its rancors and delusions, what is it but the direct
outcome of the added powers of government, the corrup-
tions and inflations of the war ? Every war leaves such
miserable legacies, fatal seeds of future war and revolu-
2£AJ12?™ Y tion > unless the civic virtues of the people save the State
William james in time.
Shaw had both kinds of virtue. As he then led his
regiment against Fort Wagner, so surely would he now
be leading us against all lesser powers of darkness, had
his sweet young life been spared. You think of many as
I speak of one. For, North and South, how many lives
as sweet, unmonumented for the most part, commemo-
rated solely in the hearts of mourning mothers, widowed
brides, or friends, did the inexorable war mow down!
Instead of the full years of natural service from so many
of her children, our country counts but their poor memo-
ries, " the tender grace of a day that is dead," lingering
like echoes of past music on the vacant air.
But so and so only was it written that she should grow
sound again. From that fatal earlier unsoundness those
lives have bought for North and South together perma-
nent release. The warfare is accomplished ; the iniquity
is pardoned. No future problem can be like that pro-
blem. No task laid on our children can compare in dif-
ficulty with the task with which their fathers have to
deal. Yet as we face the future, tasks enough await us.
The republic to which Robert Shaw and a quarter of a
million like him were faithful unto death is no republic
that can live at ease hereafter on the interest of what
they won. Democracy is still upon its trial. The civic
genius of our people is its only bulwark, and neither laws
nor monuments, neither battleships nor public libraries,
nor great newspapers nor booming stocks ; neither me-
chanical invention nor political adroitness, nor churches
nor universities nor civil-service examinations can save
us from degeneration if the inner mystery be lost. That
mystery, at once the secret and the glory of our English-
speaking race, consists in nothing but two common hab-
its, two inveterate habits carried into public life, — habits
so homely that they lend themselves to no rhetorical ex- oration by
, , . • , i 1 PROFESSOR
pression, yet habits more precious, perhaps, than any that william james
the human race has gained. They can never be too often
pointed out or praised. One of them is the habit of
trained and disciplined good temper towards the opposite
party when it fairly wins its innings ; and the other, that
of fierce and merciless resentment towards every man or
set of men who overstep the lawful bounds of fairness or
break the public peace.
O my countrymen, Southern and Northern, brothers
hereafter, masters, slaves, and enemies no more, let us
see to it that both of those heirlooms are preserved. So
may our ransomed country, like the city of the promise,
lie forever foursquare under Heaven, and the ways of all
the nations be lit up by its light.
OF PRESIDENT BOOKER T. WASHINGTON,
OF TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE
^OVERNOR WOLCOTT: "One year ago, at the
Commencement exercises of the oldest and most
famous University of the western hemisphere, there
was enacted a memorable scene. In the presence of
hundreds of the Alumni of Harvard College, in the beautiful
hall dedicated to those of her sons who gave their lives to their
country's need, a colored man, born a slave, rose to receive an
honorary degree at the hands of the President of the University.
It was not the first time that a degree had been conferred upon
one of his race. But in previous cases this distinction had been
won by compliance with the requisite term of residence and by
successfully passing certain academic examinations. In this
case the honor was conferred because of wise leadership of his
race, and of sagacious counsel to his countrymen, both white
and black. As he ceased a speech that burned with restrained
passion, and yet threw the calm, clear light of a tempered judg-
ment upon the relations of the two races, that great audience was
swept by wave after wave of enthusiastic applause. No man
can more eloquently and wisely speak for the race which furnished
the rank and file of the 54th Regiment than Booker T. Washing-
ton, of Tuskegee, Alabama."
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
>R. CHAIRMAN, and Fellow-Citizens: In
this presence, and on this sacred and mem-
orable day, in the deeds and death of our
hero, we recall the old, old story, ever old,
yet ever new, that when it was the will of
the Father to lift humanity out of wretchedness and
bondage, the precious task was delegated to him who
among ten thousand was altogether lovely, and was will-
ing to make himself of no reputation that he might save
and lift up others.
If that heart could throb and if those lips could speak,
what would be the sentiment and words that Robert
Gould Shaw would have us feel and speak at this hour ?
He would not have us dwell long on the mistakes, the
injustice, the criticisms of the days
" Of storm and cloud, of doubt and fears
Across the eternal sky must lower
Before the glorious noon appears."
He would have us bind up with his own undying fame
and memory, and retain by the side of his monument, the
name of John A. Andrew, who, with prophetic vision
and strong arm helped make the existence of the 54th
Regiment possible ; and that of George L. Stearns, who,
with hidden generosity and a great sweet heart, helped
to turn the darkest hour into day, and in doing so freely
address of gave service, fortune, and life itself to the cause which
Washington this day commemorates. Nor would he have us forget
those brother officers, living and dead, who, by their
baptism in blood and fire, in defense of union and free-
dom, gave us an example of the highest and purest
To you who fought so valiantly in the ranks, the
scarred and scattered remnant of the 54th Regiment, who
with empty sleeve and wanting leg have honored this
occasion with your presence, — to you your commander
is not dead. Though Boston erected no monument, and
history recorded no story, in you and the loyal race
which you represent, Robert Gould Shaw would have a
monument which time could not wear away.
But an occasion like this is too great, too sacred, for
mere individual eulogy. The individual is the instru-
ment, national virtue the end. That which was three
hundred years being woven into the warp and woof of
our democratic institutions could not be effaced by a
single battle, as magnificent as was that battle; that
which for three centuries had bound master and slave,
yea, North and South, to a body of death, could not be
blotted out by four years of war, could not be atoned for
by shot and sword, nor by blood and tears.
Not many days ago, in the heart of the South, in a
large gathering of the people of my race, there were
heard from many lips praises and thanksgiving to God
for his goodness in setting them free from physical slavery.
In the midst of that assembly a Southern white man
arose, with gray hair and trembling hands, the former
owner of many slaves, and from his quivering lips there
came the words : " My friends, you forget in your rejoi-
cing that in setting you free God was also good to me
and my race in setting us free." But there is a higher
and deeper sense in which both races must be free than
that represented by the bill of sale. The black man who address of
cannot let love and sympathy go out to the white man is Washington
but half free. The white man who would close the shop
or factory against a black man seeking an opportunity to
earn an honest living is but half free. The white man
who retards his own development by opposing a black
man is but half free. The full measure of the fruit of
Fort Wagner and all that this monument stands for will
not be realized until every man covered by a black skin
shall, by patience and natural effort, grow to that height in
industry, property, intelligence, and moral responsibility,
where no man in all our land will be tempted to degrade
himself by withholding from his black brother any op-
portunity which he himself would possess.
Until that time comes, this monument will stand for
effort, not victory complete. What these heroic souls of
the 54th Regiment began, we must complete. It must
be completed not in malice, nor narrowness, nor artificial
progress, nor in efforts at mere temporary political gain,
nor in abuse of another section or race. Standing as I
do to-day in the home of Garrison and Phillips and Sum-
ner, my heart goes out to those who wore the gray as
well as to those clothed in blue, to those who returned
defeated to destitute homes, to face blasted hopes and
shattered political and industrial system. To them there
can be no prouder reward for defeat than by a supreme
effort to place the negro on that footing where he will
add material, intellectual, and civil strength to every
department of state.
This work must be completed in public school, indus-
trial school, and college. The most of it must be com-
pleted in the effort of the negro himself ; in his effort to
withstand temptation, to economize, to exercise thrift, to
disregard the superficial for the real, the shadow for
the substance, to be great and yet small ; in his effort to
address of be patient in the laying of a firm foundation, to so grow
BOOKER T •
Washington in skill and knowledge that he shall place his services in
demand by reason of his intrinsic and superior worth.
This, this is the key that unlocks every door of oppor-
tunity, and all others fail. In this battle of peace, the
rich and poor, the black and white may have a part.
What lesson has this occasion for the future ? What
of hope, what of encouragement, what of caution ?
" Watchman, tell us of the night, what the signs of
promise are." If through me, an humble representative,
nearly ten millions of my people might be permitted to
send a message to Massachusetts, to the survivors of the
54th Regiment, to the committee whose untiring energy
has made this memorial possible, to the family who gave
their only boy that we might have life more abundantly,
that message would be : Tell them that the sacrifice was
not in vain, that up from the depths of ignorance and
poverty we are coming, and if we come through oppres-
sion, out of the struggle we are gaining strength ; by
way of the school, the well-cultivated field, the skilled
hand, the Christian home, we are coming up ; that we
propose to invite all who will to step up and occupy this
position with us. Tell them that we are learning that
standing ground for a race, as for an individual, must be
laid in intelligence, industry, thrift, and property, not as
an end, but as a means to the highest privileges ; that we
are learning that neither the conqueror's bullet, nor fiat
of law, could make an ignorant voter an intelligent voter,
could make a dependent man an independent man, could
give one citizen respect for another, a bank account,
a foot of land, or an enlightened fireside. Tell them
that, as grateful as we are to artist and patriotism for
placing the figures of Shaw and his comrades in physical
form of beauty and magnificence, that after all the real
monument, the greater monument, is being slowly but
safely builded among the lowly in the South, in the address by
struggles and sacrifices of a race to justify all that has Washington
been done and suffered for it.
One of the wishes that lay nearest to Colonel Shaw's
heart was, that his black troops might be permitted to
fight by the side of white soldiers. Have we not lived to
see that wish realized, and will it not be more so in the
future ? Not at Wagner, not with rifle and bayonet, but
on the field of peace, in the battle of industry, in the
struggle for good government, in the lifting up of the
lowest to the fullest opportunities. In this we shall fight
by the side of white men North and South. And if this
be true, as under God's guidance it will, that old flag,
that emblem of progress and security which brave Ser-
geant Carney never permitted to fall upon the ground,
will still be borne aloft by Southern soldier and Northern
soldier, and in a more potent and higher sense we shall
all realize that
" The slave's chain and the master's
Alike are broken.
The one curse of the races
Held both in tether :
They are rising, — all are rising,
The black and white together ! "
A LAST WORD
,HE pressure of anxiety upon the Committee
during twenty years of endeavor has given
place to serenity and thankfulness over the
successful issue of their labors, and they desire to
acknowledge their indebtedness to those who have con-
tributed to this success.
To our Treasurer, Mr. Edward Atkinson, for his
skillful management of the funds, for his untiring watch-
fulness over the work of the sculptor, and for his unvary-
To the sculptor, Mr. St. Gaudens, who lost himself in
To the architect, Mr. McKim, whose labor of love to
his friend has enhanced the value of the work of the
To the Chaplain for his fervent prayer, stirring the
To our chosen orators, Professor James and Professor
Washington, for their eloquent and sympathetic ad-
To his Excellency the Governor and His Honor the
Mayor, who, inspired by the occasion, imparted their
inspiration to their hearers.
To Mr. Thorndike, who organized the chorus.
To Mr. Osgood and to the chorus he led, for their
To Chief Marshal Appleton for his labors prolonged
through many weeks in planning, and then in marshal-
a last word ing the numerous bodies of soldiers and sailors compos-
ing the escort, — and arranging the official guests and
audience within the Music Hall, — promptly, skillfully,
To the loving zeal of these, each in his sphere, we
owe the remarkable success of the memorial and of the
services at its dedication which so moved the assembled
Martin P. Kennard,
For the Committee.
• EX LIBRIS •
HEM* HH1H -*«PC
■«u. ■ ■